Press Release

A milestone in boosting foreign investments: Iraq signs the Singapore Convention

26 June 2024

Baghdad, June 26, 2024 — In a landmark move to attract foreign investors to Iraq, the country celebrated its signing of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (“Singapore Convention”). Under the patronage of H.E. Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Investment Commission (NIC) of Iraq hosted a high-profile conference on mediation today.

Creating an environment for global investors

Kick-starting the conference on behalf of H.E. the Prime Minister Mohammed Shia` Al-Sudani, the Advisor to the Prime Minister, Nasser Saleh Abdulnabi Al-Asadi reiterated the government’s unwavering focus on foreign investment.

"We are steadfast in our progressive reforms, striving to transform Iraq into an inviting and secure investment destination. Iraq’s accession to the Singapore Convention is a significant milestone, fortifying our efforts to build a robust business sector. We will persist in our endeavours to bolster investment, combat corruption, and generate employment opportunities for our youth,” he said.

On April 17, 2024, Iraq took a significant step by signing the Singapore Convention, as the Convention eases enforcement of mediated settlement agreements, paving the way for enhanced international trade and commerce between  countries.

“Iraq is ready to strengthen its collaboration with countries across the globe to foster investment as well as diversify and increase its trade, and the Convention is an important tool for us to operationalize this,” ` said Dr. Hayder Makiya, Chairman of the National Investment Commission.

Iraq enters its new chapter

The conference, generously backed by the European Union, was joined by the European Union Ambassador to Iraq, Thomas Seiler.

“We are working hand in hand with the government and UNDP to support the government’s ambition to make Iraq a secure and attractive destination for foreign investments, including from the 27 EU Member States. Effective mediation opens a new door for Iraq’s international trade and business.”

Through its Anti-Corruption and Commercial Dispute Resolution Initiatives funded by the European Union, UNDP has also been working with Iraqi universities to build the capacities of law students in commercial dispute resolution, including mediation.

"With the signing of the Singapore Convention, Iraq is committed to transforming the landscape of commercial cross-border dispute resolution which will significantly impact businesses engaged in international trade and commerce. We will continue supporting the Government in legislation and building the necessary institutional and human capacity to make mediation work." said Auke Lootsma, Resident Representative of UNDP.

The hope is that Iraq’s signing of the Singapore Convention is the foundational beginning the country needs in order to attract and instill confidence in investors who wish to do business there – creating a climate that is conducive and safe for foreign investment.

About the Singapore Convention

The Singapore Convention is a multilateral treaty that provides a uniform and efficient framework for the enforcement of international settlement agreements resulting from mediation. It applies to agreements concluded by parties to resolve commercial disputes and facilitates international trade by enabling easy cross-border enforcement of these settlements. As of 11 June 2024, the Convention has 57 signatories and 14 parties. Iraq is the most recent signatory of the convention.

About UNDP’s Commercial Dispute Resolution Initiative

To create an inclusive ecosystem for investors and boost foreign investment, UNDP has been strengthening commercial dispute resolution legislation and practices in Iraq. In addition to the support for mediation, the initiative includes technical support for drafting new law on arbitration in compliance with the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and international best practices. By facilitating consultations, workshops, and discussions with a broad range of stakeholders, UNDP aims to enhance capacity building and mainstream efficient commercial dispute resolution practices across the country.

Tayfun Yilmaz

UNDP Iraq, Communications Specialist
Mohammed Al-Bahbahanee

Mohammed Al-Bahbahanee

Communications Specialist

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Development Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative